Government

Tax

Temporary Change of IRS Address for Certain Hand-Delivered Documents

Because of the temporary closure of the main Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters building there is a temporary change of address for the delivery of taxpayer requests for rulings, requests for determination letters, Applications for Change in Accounting Method (Form 3115), and similar requests that are permitted to be hand-delivered to the main IRS Headquarters Building.Until further notice, these requests and applications should be delivered to the IRS offices at 950 L’Enfant Plaza, 5th Floor, Washington D.C., 20024.Complaints, subpoenas or any other service of process, as wel
Community News

VA Uses Accounting Gimmicks to Formulate 2006 Budget

A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has used untested management efficiencies in their budget calculations for the VA health care system, according to the Molokai Island Times. Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) is the ranking member of the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee. The Molokai Island Times reports that he and his House counterpart, Rep. Lane Evans (D-Ill.) initially requested the audit to confirm the VA funding process.
Tax

IRS Reminds Charities to Avoid Political Campaign Activities During Election Season

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminds charities to avoid becoming involved in political campaign activities during the coming election season.

Terrorist Finance Tracking Program Disclosed

Treasury Secretary John Snow announced last week the existence of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, according to a prepared statement.
Tax

Accountant Held Liable for Interest Expense from Tax Error

The South Dakota Supreme Court last week upheld a Circuit Court decision allowing a jury to award damages to Doug O’Bryan Contracting Inc. for interest expense on underpayment of taxes that resulted from an error made by his accountant. The state’s high court had not previously allowed recovery of interest expense in lawsuits against tax advisers, the Associated Press reports.Bruce Ashland, a certified public accountant, understated O’Bryan’s income for 1995.
Tax

Compromise Unlikely on Estate Tax Repeal

Small business owners, leading supporters of the drive to repeal the federal estate tax, are debating the next step for the proposal since the defeat of the repeal measure in the Senate last Thursday, by a vote of 57 to 41. Ending debate on outright repeal requires 60 votes and compromise measures face opposition from both Democrats and Republicans. Four Democrats joined the Republicans to open debate on repealing the tax. Some small business owners suggest keeping the tax but raising the exempt amounts, USAToday reports.

Celebrating World Ocean Day by Looking at Ocean Economics

“[W]e don’t have enough information about the oceans’ impact on our economy,” William M. Daley, Secretary of Commerce said back in 1998. “A complete and accurate assessment of the ocean bounty has never been done, and I think this has been a serious handicap in our decision making over the past number of years. We need such information to make decisions on how to responsibly use our ocean resources. And we need it to protect the marine environment.

GASB Schedules Hearing on Derivatives Accounting & Financial Reporting

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) will hold a public hearing on Accounting and Financial Reporting for Derivatives. A Preliminary View (PV) of the board’s position was released on April 28, 2006. The hearing will be held on June 21 beginning, at 9:00 a.m. at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, San Diego, Calif.
Community News

Bush Picks Goldman Sachs Chief for Treasury Post

The Bush Administration's quest to bring Wall Street to the cabinet has ended with the nomination of the one of the mightiest investment titans in New York to the post of treasury secretary.President Bush on Tuesday named Henry Paulson, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., as his choice to replace out-going Treasury Secretary John Snow.Advertisement
Technology

Fed Long-Distance Tax Repealed

The Justice Department will no longer continue litigation on the issue of the federal excise tax on long-distance telephone service. The Treasury will no longer collect the 3 percent federal excise tax on long-distance calls.

Immigration Bill Passes Senate

The Senate version of immigration reform legislation passed late this week. The bill, as passed, will give most illegal immigrants a chance to become American citizens, according to the New York Times. Opposition remains among House conservatives and Republican leadership, admitting that it will be difficult to get a final bill to the president. Bush, nevertheless, encouraged the Senate and the House to work together to pass a bill that he could sign into law.

Funding Bill Changes Rules for Ex-Spouses; Military Accountants

Last week the Senate Armed Services Committee approved three adjustments to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act as part of the 2007 defense authorization bill (S 2766).
Tax

National Guard & Military Pay

For tax purposes, military pay is treated like regular income, while parts of National Guard pay have special treatment. Before the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, National Guard members could deduct 100 percent of their travel expenses.
Community News

Memorial Day Spotlight on America’s “Citizen Soldiers”

Arizona National Guard men and women will participate in Memorial Day observances throughout the state that will include 20 flyovers, dozens of parades and talks to local Cub Scout troops, Major Paul Aguirre told AccountingWEB.Advertisement

Accounting Manipulations at Fannie Mae Tied to Bonuses, OFHEO Says

A report by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) released on Tuesday charged senior management of the mortgage giant Fannie Mae with manipulating accounting to hit earnings targets in order to maximize their bonuses and other executive compensation, the New York Times reports.

SEC Announces Next Steps for SOX Implementation Includes Smaller Companies

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday announced a series of actions intended to improve the implementation of the Section 404 internal control requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002.
A&A

Flooding Hits Northeast Testing Financial Preparedness on Eve of Hurricane Season

Rivers crested after record rains eased in the Northeast U.S. on Tuesday leaving behind damage from some of the worst flooding the area has seen in nearly 80 years. As with the aftermath of last year’s hurricanes, many homes and businesses will not survive because the three states hardest hit by the flooding have relatively low participation rates in the federal flood insurance program, according to the Boston Globe.

Penalties for Missed Medicare Drug Deadline May be Eliminated

Lawmakers are pushing to eliminate penalties for seniors who failed to enroll in the new Medicare prescription drug benefit by the May 15 deadline.Tens of thousands of seniors hustled to call Medicare's customer service operators or enroll online before the midnight cut-off time, but many were so overwhelmed by the complexity of Medicare Part D and the variety of choices available, that they couldn't make a decision.
Technology

Single Enterprise Electronic Signature Platform Helps Eliminate Paper Not Control

The first enterprise electronic signature platform supporting multiple high-volume processes and document delivery was introduced Monday by Silanis Technology.

Insurance Bill: Bane or Benefit to Employers, Employees?

The "Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2006" (S1955) is drawing fire as being neither modern nor affordable. Sponsored by Michael Enzi(R-WYO), supporters claim the bill will help more businesses and employees afford health care benefits.

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